April 23rd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Inside the spin wars

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) - You can get dizzy from all the political spinning that's going on.

If you listen to the Barack Obama team, the Pennsylvania results actually showed that he was improving when it comes to winning support from white working class voters. They say he did better with this group in Pennsylvania than he did six weeks ago in Ohio, where Clinton also won by about ten points.

If you listen to the Hillary Clinton team, the results show that Obama simply can't win in major battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Michigan. Those are states, they insist, a Democratic presidential candidate desperately would need to win in the general election.

All the spinning is designed to sway those still-undecided super delegates who will be critical in eventually determining the party's nominee. Remember – the party created those superdelegates so they would be able to ensure that the eventual nominee would be more competitive against the Republican nominee. That's why those superdelegates are so important and powerful. The rules make clear that they can choose a candidate who did not win the greatest number of pledged delegates, or the popular vote.

Right now, Clinton advisers also pursuing some of the superdelegates who earlier announced their support for Obama. They suspect the results from Ohio, and now Pennsylvania, are giving some of those Obama supporters buyer's remorse. They are hoping to change their minds. The party rules state that superdelegates can change their minds at any time until the real roll call on the convention floor.

All of which suggests this contest is not over yet – and might not be for some time.

If someone would have predicted back in early January, before the first contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, that the Democrats would still be slugging it out now, they would have been ridiculed. The assumption back then was that the Republicans would be fighting and fighting while the Democrats settled on their candidate relatively quickly. That goes to explain why politics can be so unpredictable and so much fun to cover.

soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. JC

    Heaven help us all if either of these bozos are elected President.

    April 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Kyle

    What I find astonishing, with respect to "spin", is this notion that Obama can't win in the general election because he can't win big state primaries. We're comparing apples and oranges here. His performance in Democratic Primaries, in a race against a fellow Democrat, simply cannot be compared to how he would fair in a general election race, against a Republican opponent, in a very different set of circumstances. This "Big-State" argument that the Clinton's keep throwing out is the most misleading "spin" of this entire campaign – and what's amazing, is that everyone, including CNN, is running with it, without stepping back and realizing that we're drawing inferences based on wholly different situations.

    April 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Now the supporters of Obama are being criticized.
    I heard Wolf Blitzer trying to make an issue about the shirts
    three guys were wearing during Obama's rally last night in
    Indiana. Obama is trying to make a change in that country
    but, it is obvious the media is not ready.

    April 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Tom

    When Hillary's eyes blaze with hatred whenever she is asked something challenging. Even through her thin lipped tight smile. You just see the Demons sparkle in her eyes. I am serious! look close and see for yourself.

    April 23, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Victoria

    Swiss in Canada, I can tell you why, because if you math is OK, you can see. Hillery won all of the big state, why not MI and Florida?

    April 23, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Dave

    SPIN? How does Hillary's 9.3% win get spun up to double digits and some tremendous win? If we report the gas prices rounded to the pennies ($3.49 per gallon in the Richmond VA area), then report the differences in a similar manner – it was 9.31% win only for Over-the-Hillary ~

    April 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Kim P. Atlanta, GA

    The reason Hillary won in these states; white male republicans have crossed over party lines and voted for her to win. When the dust settles, these same voters will return to their own party, (republican) and vote against the democratic candidate, especially if it is Hillary. The media will not "spin" this idea, because they are just as guilty as the "cross over voters" in this campaign. To prove it, let's see if CNN post this blog!

    April 23, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. Rush

    The PA vote was totally Bogus! Thousands of Republicans registered as Democrats to vote for Hillary as part of Rush Limbaughs 'Operation Chaos' . It is their intent to totally destroy the Democrat Party and with the help of PA, they are one step closer.

    April 23, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. crystal balls

    Who has the crystal ball that say's Obama or Hillary can't win in November? The fact is, we don't know. This is a battle against the republican'ts, not within the democratic party. Sure, I hope Obama wins but will have to settle for Hillary if she steals it from him... whatever happens we cannot have more of busssshhhhhhhhh.

    April 23, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. Michael, North Carolina

    Sen. Obama is still in firm command of this race for the White House. Simply put it all comes down to popular vote for Sen. Clinton. If she does not get enough of the popular vote, by June 3 then it is in my opinion that the superdelegates should do the right thing,and go with Sen. Obama. Because Sen. Clinton will not catch Sen. Obama in the pledged delegate count, and number of states won. So this would be her only hope of trying to STEAL this contest from Sen. Obama. With a big win in North Carolina, and Oregon alone Sen. Obama can offset her 200,000 vote gain that Sen. Clinton got in Penn. So it is still all gravy for Sen. Obama.


    April 23, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Abdul

    Hillary is awash in Saudi Oil Money Are we stupid enough to think she will help to lower oil prices?

    April 23, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Incredulous

    So. When is the media going to talk about Hillary and the money recieved from the terror supporting Iranian leaders. Are we going to wait for McCain to use it to destroy her ?

    April 23, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. Kathy

    I want to tell to someone, Obama should think about why he spend much money than Hillary, He still lost, because he lacks too much to became US president, he should out of the race, because he can not win in general election. a CEO needs training, needs experence why a country's president needs nothing. We select great county's president not Moving star. We have duty to choice a right person to lead our country. This is not children play game.

    April 23, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. Mike, Toronto

    One of the spins is that Clinton had a 'double digit' win; with the current numbers, the popular vote spread is less than 9.32% – still a clear win, but not what the people would usualy call a 'double digit' one.

    April 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. Paul

    Well MoveOn.org must be worried, I along with hundreds of others got spammed locally on Craigslist in Indianapolis by MoveOn.org members sending replies to Criagslist ads (in clear violation of craigslist terms of use) with a title of 'vote' directing me to participate in a Obama Video sites and to hear Obama's message. They must be REALLY worried if they are getting desperate enough to spam people.Apparently the Obama's message is falling on deaf ears. I would be happy to forward a copy of the email to any media people out there, I sent a copy to craiglist along with a complaint about spamming!

    April 23, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. wood burns

    Sylvia April 23rd, 2008 3:37 pm ET

    "bottom lineā€¦.Obam cannot win in the general election"

    Bottom line... Sylvia is an idiot.

    April 23, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. Mark from Tennessee

    I used to like Hillary and I respect a lot of her positions, but over the last few months she has come to represent everything that I detest about politics. The woman apparently has no shame and along with her husband will say or do anything it takes to feed her unbridled ambition, no matter who it hurts or what the cost. To say that she is disingenuous is at the very least an understatement. (Let's see if I've gotten this right...it's alright for Michigan and Florida voters not to count unless I win and am behind and need their votes, then they should not be disenfranchised). At this point if she ends up with the nomination, I am so disgusted that I WILL NOT VOTE PERIOD!

    April 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. Patrick

    I'd like to thank the Clintons for the scandal that allow a Republican (BUSH) to run on VALUES and destroy this country for 8 years. How quickly we forget the final gift the Clinton's gave us. Lie lie lie.

    April 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. Texican

    The Democrats are the ones being ridiculed now. They can't get their act together. Every time they speak they open up new venues of attack from the Media.

    These two are the laughing stock of the world. The only ones cheering for them to win are the Islamic Jihadist.

    Got news for them. McCain will be our next President.

    April 23, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. CaliforniaPhyllis

    On the view (show dated 4/20) Mrs. McCain stated that "she hopes the bickering between the two candidates, and not having a choosen leader of this party continues until this summer. It's good for the Republican Party".

    April 23, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. james

    it seems mrs clinton has given more money to the media. they are spinning it for her. She will still lose sir. The question we need to ask is why can't Hilary catch Obama? Remember they started together and if there was someone with some advantage on day 1 it was Clinton. So why cant she catch obama despite all the support from the media?

    April 23, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. libs

    when will you pundits and media 'brains' realize that the virtues and characters of our candidates have become irrelevant?? In this world of extremists, terrorists, and loonies of all stripes......I don't care if the person in the White House is "pure and clean and possesses family values", whatever that is.

    I want a smart, protective and decisive pit bull on the red button, not a labrador retreiver. I want someone who will not hesitate to do what's needed in a time of crisis. That's why I'll support Hillary Clinton until the last vote is counted. If she loses in the end, I'll learn to pray,

    FYI – my comparing Hillary to a pit bull is a compliment!!!

    April 23, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  23. Chuck


    No offense intended, but between the media spin and their spin who do we believe? I have yet to vote, I have my candidate in mind, but all this is overwhelming and mind boggling. I vote 22 May almost at the end.. I am begining to believe my vote will not matter by then. Will the real honest and truthful candidate please stand up?

    April 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. Anthony 02

    Why cant Hillary just tell the truth???

    April 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. gogogo

    I do not like CNN, the comment I wrote has never not put public. the TV show always trend to Obama. I do not write anymore comment and do not open your TV chinnal any more.

    April 23, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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